The Internationalization of Ethnic Strife

S. Neil MacFarlane

in Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe Volume 2: International and Transnational Factors

Published in print June 2001 | ISBN: 9780199244096
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600371 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Democratization

 The Internationalization of Ethnic Strife

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Describes a series of active sub‐state conflicts involving ethnicity and interethnic struggles for power and resources in southeastern and Eastern Europe. These are seen as having significant implications for European security and evoking an array of international responses. These responses raised important questions about the boundary between civil and international politics, the changing meaning of sovereignty in international politics, and the capacity of external actors to regulate internal disputes. The discussion about the internationalization of ethnic strife begins with an investigation of the nature of ethnicity and ethnic conflict and of the parameters of internationalization and its relationship to democratization. The chapter then proceeds on an analysis of the record of efforts by international actors to control this post‐Cold War problem in European security. The chapter concludes by considering the effectiveness of these responses and their implications for the European system. It highlights the difficulties of dealing with ethnic disputes through hegemonic and multilateral efforts and considers the factors affecting the transition from management to political settlement.

Keywords: democratization; Eastern Europe; ethnic disputes; ethnicity; European security; inter‐ethnic conflict; Southeastern Europe; sovereignty; sub‐state conflicts

Chapter.  9820 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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